The symbolic and strategic core of the race remains in the northern states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Michigan, a traditionally Democratic region where Clinton underperformed, giving Trump the presidency. But so far this year, Biden has maintained an apparent connection to White voters in these states and elsewhere that Clinton let slip away as she lost all but Minnesota.
That connection also has boosted Biden’s chances in states like Ohio and Iowa, which were long considered to be in Trump’s corner because he won them so convincingly in 2016. Trump held two rallies in Ohio last week and will return there for the presidential debate with Biden on Tuesday night. Biden is scheduled to campaign in Ohio and Pennsylvania the next day.
Biden’s appeal has also blunted Trump’s efforts to flip Minnesota, which the president has long sought to move into his camp, at the same time the president battles political fallout from rapidly diversifying states like Georgia and Arizona. Trump has continued to hold his own in Florida and North Carolina, where the races are a dead heat.
“The tipping point states that people thought would be tipping point states in the spring are likely to be tipping point states now,” said Michael Halle, a Democratic strategist who worked for former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg this cycle. “What has changed is the significant money advantage that Biden has.”